Ana Marcela Cunha Awarded FINA’s World Open Water Swimmer Of The Year
Ana Marcela Cunha Awarded FINA’s World Open Water Swimmer Of The YearCourtesy of FINA.
FINA awarded its Female World Open Water Swimmer Of The Year recognition to Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha who won two FINA World Championship titles in the 5 km and 25 km, qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics 10 km marathon swim, and finished second overall in the 2019 FINA/CNSG Marathon Swim World Series.
This is the sixth career accolade for Cunha after also winning in 2010, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018.
Steven Munatones said of her performance, “There is no one more active on the professional marathon swimming scene than 27-year-old from São Paolo. She remains a force to be reckoned with under any conditions – warm or cold, turbulent or tranquil – anywhere (Asia, Americas, Europe) at any distance anytime against anyone. Her consistency is so remarkable that it is more noteworthy when Cunha is not on the podium than when she is.
Over a 6-day span at 2019 FINA World Championships, Cunha qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games by finishing 5th in the 10 km on Day 1, won the 5 km on Day 4, led off 4th place Team Brazil in the 5 km relay on Day 5, and then won her fourth career 25 km marathon on Day 6 (after winning in 2011, 2015 and 2017). She also won the Pan American Games 10 km in Lima. She also won the 10 km race in Taiwan’s Sun Moon Lake and finished 2nd in the FINA/CNSG Marathon Swim World Series after winning races in Nantou (China), Setúbal Bay (Portugal), and Lake Ohrid (North Macedonia). Over the course of 2019, she was the most dominant open water swimmer; that achievement is incredible because she came back after a serious health scare where her spleen was removed. It was an absolutely incredible year for her.”
Cunha had a busy schedule at the 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea.
5 km open water swim – gold medal
10 km marathon swim – qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
5 km Mixed Relay – led off Team Brazil
25 km marathon swim – won her fourth world title
Over the course of the year, Cunha also won a gold medal in the Pan American Games 10 km race, the ANOC World Beach Games 5 km race in Doha, Qatar, and the the 7th Military World Games 10 km race in Wuhan, China.
. 2019 FINA World Championships 25 km Top 10 Results:
1. Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil) 5:08:03.00
2. Finnia Wunram (Germany) 5:08:11.60
3. Lara Grangeon (France) 5:08:21.20
4. Lisa Pou (France) 5:08:28.40
5. Erica Sullivan (USA) 5:11:23.20
6. Anna Olasz (Hungary) 5:11:51.50
7. Arianna Bridi (Italy) 5:11:52.60
8. Onon Katalin Someneko (Hungary) 5:11:54.70
9. Katy Campbell (USA) 5:11:59.60
10. Samantha Arévalo (Ecuador) 5:12:22.10
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